Tag Archives: Paul Martin’s American Grill

New Summer Tastes at Paul Martin’s American Grill

Last month I had the opportunity to try the new summer brunch menu at Paul Martin’s American Grill in Irvine and absolutely loved it (I’m still dreaming about the French Toast).  So when the restaurant so kindly invited me to come in and try their new summer menu items for dinner, I knew I was in for something good.

Paul Martin’s recently updated their “Taste of Paul Martin’s” menu which is a special happy hour menu that is available from 3-7 pm daily.  Not only does their happy hour run longer and later than many other restaurants, you can also enjoy the happy hour on the weekends which I love.  All plates and drinks on the Taste of Paul Martin’s menu range from $4-$14 in price.

When the Englishman and I arrived at Paul Martin’s we decided that we would try a few summer items from the Taste of Paul Martin’s menu, then go on to the summer entrees, and last but not least, dessert.  Armed with that game plan, I decided to start the evening off on a right note by ordering their new summer drink which was the Lillet Blanc California Cocktail made with Lillet Blanc, muddled orange and a splash of soda.

I always order the three olive martini from Paul Martin’s, so it was fun to try something different for a change.  And I loved this drink.  It was light, refreshing, and tasted almost like a white wine sangria.  If you are looking for a new drink with citrus flavor, I definitely recommend this.

Then it was time for the food.  We decided to start with the summer menu items first: Flatbreads (steak with onion marmalade and Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese and burrata, arugula and crispy prosciutto) and the Stuffed Grilled Zucchini with Goat Cheese on burrata tomato toast.  Both of these items are $12 on the Taste of Paul Martin’s menu.

First up was the flatbread with the steak and onion marmalade.  We were only planing on having a few pieces of the flatbread but it was so good that we devoured the entire thing.  I loved the slight sweetness from the onion marmalade mixed with the savory blue cheese and then finished off with the steak on top.  The steak was cooked to perfection and all the ingredients in this dish balanced each other nicely.  I really hope Paul Martin’s adds this to their menu year-round because it is that good.

The arugula, burrata and crispy prosciutto flatbread was also quite good and had a nice citrus undertone thanks to the lemon dressing on the arugula.  I thought this flatbread was not as heavy as the steak one, and is a perfect summer appetizer.  Naturally this was demolished as well.

The Grilled Zucchini with goat cheese was another one of my favorites of the evening, especially since I’m a huge fan of goat cheese.  The tomato toast underneath had a nice crunch and paired nicely with the zucchini.  Even the Englishman liked it, and he is not a fan of goat cheese.

In addition to the summer selections from the Taste of Paul Martin’s menu, we also ordered the Smoked Chicken and Wings ($4) that comes with homemade slaw.  I’m usually not a fan of chicken wings, but there’s something special about these wings.  The smoky flavor really can’t be beat, and we always order the wings when we are at Paul Martin’s during happy hour.

There was also a side of Sweet Potato Fries ($6) that were ordered, but would you expect anything else on Sweet Potato Bites?

After eating all the delicious Taste of Paul Martin’s dishes, we decided to keep it light on the entrée front and ordered a new summer item – the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Local Burrata cheese ($13).

The tomatoes in this salad were some of the best I have tasted in a long time – so juicy and fresh and just a little bit sweet.  And the creamy burrata cheese was the perfect complement to the dish.  Our waiter (who was awesome by the way – if you go to Paul Martin’s ask for Steve) told us that the tomatoes came from the Ventura area, which made me happy to know that we were enjoying some quality California Grown produce.

By this point we weren’t sure if we would have room for dessert, but when Steve told us about their ice cream that was made in-house, we knew we couldn’t pass that up.  We ordered the Vanilla, Chocolate and Mocha Chip Ice Cream with Homemade Shortbread ($6).  The mocha chip was definitely the favorite flavor of the night and I loved the crunchy sugar crystals on the shortbread.

Thank you again Paul Martin’s for hosting us and serving yet another outstanding meal!  I’m already planning my next visit to try some of the summer entrée items.  Until then, I’ll have visions of steak and blue cheese flatbread dancing in my head.

Summery Delights at Paul Martin’s New Weekend Brunch

It’s been no secret that I am a big fan of Paul Martin’s American Grill. I have written about their delicious burgers and waxed poetic about their martinis.  When I recently had the opportunity to try out their summer weekend brunch, I knew I’d be in for something good.  And good it most certainly was.

Paul Martin’s just started introducing their weekend summer brunch (10am-2pm on Sat/Sun) so I was excited to give it a try.  The Englishman and my parents also accompanied me to brunch since they are big fans of Paul Martin’s as well.  The brunch prixe fixe menu includes a beverage (cocktails included) an entrée, fruit and bread all for just $19!  Considering most restaurants charge an arm and a leg for brunch, this is an incredible steal.  We decided to kick off our brunch experience with some Bloody Marys and Peach Bellinis.

Paul Martin’s Bloody Mary isn’t your standard Bloody Mary since it comes with bacon.  Yep, bacon.  And you know what?  The bacon is a nice component to the drink.  I’m not the biggest Bloody Mary fan, but I did enjoy sips of this one, bacon and all.

The Peach Bellini was light and refreshing and was made with peach, honey syrup and sparkling wine and garnished with raspberries.

If you are looking for something different from your standard mimosa at brunch, I highly recommend the Peach Bellini.

While waiting for our food, we had the opportunity to chat with Chef Partner Jorge Estrada who told us some of his favorites off the brunch menu (the Shrimp Omelet and the French Toast with Maple Bourbon syrup) and gave us a sneak peek at Paul Martin’s Summer Menu which will be debuting in a few weeks (it’s going to be quite good with nice summer flavors).  It was nice to chat with Jorge, especially since you can tell he puts a lot of pride into all of his dishes at Paul Martin’s.

Then it was time for the food. Everyone decided to order something different so we could share and try a little bit of everything.  I decided to go with the Cheddar and Applewood Smoked Bacon Omelet, but ordered it with egg whites.

One of my biggest gripes is that many restaurants  put the omelet fillings on top of the omelet, which in my opinion makes it no longer an omelet, but this one had the melted cheddar cheese, bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes all nicely folded inside and tasted excellent.  The roasted potatoes were also nice and not greasy at all.

The Englishman ordered the Eggs Benedict which came on an English Muffin and a side of roasted potatoes.

The Englishman is very particular about his poached eggs and thought these were cooked perfectly – just the right amount of runny yolk and not rubbery at all.  The Hollandaise on top had a nice lemon zing to it as well.

My mom and dad decided to go with Chef Jorge’s recommendations and got the French Toast and Shrimp Omelet and raved about them both.

The shrimp omelet my dad ordered had avocado, shrimp, and jack cheese.  If you are a seafood omelet fan, this is definitely the omelet for you.  This also came with roasted potatoes.

My mom decided against eggs and ordered the french toast.  I must say it was an excellent choice on her part because this french toast was pretty fantastic.  I think I’ll be ordering it next time when I return for brunch.

Chef Jorge was right on the money when it came to the maple bourbon syrup that came on the side – the bourbon flavor blended nicely with the maple and was not overpowering at all.

In addition to our entrees we were served a plate of fresh fruit and warm rolls from Sadie Rose bakery, which were promptly devoured as well.

In all honesty, this brunch at Paul Martin’s was one of the best brunches I’ve had (and I have been to a lot of brunches).  The food tasted great, the service was excellent and the price really cannot be beat.  I’ll definitely be coming back.

Thanks for bringing a delicious brunch to Irvine Paul Martin’s!

2011 Food Highlights

As 2011 wraps to a close I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the dining adventures that I had over the past year.  There were some highs, there were some lows (cough Ecco) but overall it was a great year for food.  I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings!  I already have some places on my must try list…

Here is the best of the best for 2011:

Best Organic Restaurant:  True Food Kitchen

My love affair with True Food Kitchen began early this year and hasn’t let up since.  I love the breakfasts, the freshly made hummus, the light flatbreads and of course the mojitos.  There will definitely be more True Food Kitchen in 2012.

Best Italian:  Cucina Alessa

Cucina Alessa is by far the best Italian restaurant I’ve been to in the O.C.  All the pasta is freshly made and the butternut squash ravioli is something else.  If you are looking for the real deal when it comes to Italian food, this is your place.

Best Mexican:  Mi Casa in Cabo San Lucas, MX

Mariachis, margaritas the size of your head and authentic Mexican cuisine.  Does it get any better?  I think not.  The chicken enchiladas were the best ones I’ve had in a long time.

Best Bar:  SideDoor

SideDoor was an early discovery in 2011 and I’m sad to say I haven’t been back since.  I loved the pub feel, loved the food, and loved the wine.  More return trips are in my future.

Best Burger:  Paul Martin’s American Grill

Paul Martin’s breathed fresh life into Irvine’s dining scene and I hope to see more places like this in 2012.  The burger I had was cooked to perfection and was incredibly juicy and flavorful.  The dirty martini that went with the burger didn’t hurt either.

Best Dessert: Sugar Blossom Bake Shop

Sugar Blossom Bake Shop was a refreshing change from your standard cupcake-chain fare. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Sprinkles, but I also loved the delicious cupcakes and unique flavors that Sugar Blossom had to offer.  In addition to cupcakes Sugar Blossom has cookies and other treats, namely a chocolate covered macaroon that I basically had a love affair with.  The carrot cake cupcake comes in a close second.

Best Bakery/Breakfast:  C’est Si Bon

C’est Si Bon isn’t new to Orange County, but it was a new discovery to me this year.  The scones are amazing, the croissants are nice and flaky and there is always a line out the door.  That should tell you something right there.

Best Cheap Eats:  Bruxie

Waffle sandwiches that are freshly made at a cheap price?  Sign me up.  Bruxie makes delicious waffle sandwiches with delectable fillings such as eggs and bacon, fried chicken and pastrami.  If you are skeptical about the idea of a waffle sandwich fear not – these sandwiches are a must try.

And that’s a wrap for 2011!  Bring on the good eats 2012!